November 2019
The chaos on Hong Kong's streets has reached the universities of the Special Administrative Region. Political scientist Stephan Ortmann, himself working at a Hong Kong university, does not believe in a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Hong Kong: "It's a kind of end game for the demonstrators"
Demonstrators armed with bows and arrows practice running away from the police near the Polytechnic University
 This week, the protests have shifted to universities, and there have been violent clashes between protesters and the police at several universities What's the situation at City University that you teach?
Stephan Ortmann: There were also disputes on Monday morning. There's an app developed by protesters that shows what's happening, where the police are. In the morning I saw that there was "TG". I suspected that was tear gas. Later, I learned from my friend that teargas was used several times in the morning. The confrontation took place partly directly on a bridge between the dormitories and the university buildings. That's why it shocked me that the university did not send out a message or warning. Later there were warnings to stay away, so I did. There was no lesson throughout the week, and the semester has now ended [ Anm. D. Ed .: two weeks before the semester closing]At other universities should probably continue online lessons take place.
Yesterday I looked at what City University looks like. The street was filled with bricks, buses were transversely, the university itself was smeared with graffiti. One of the refectories was destroyed and a bookstore. The demonstrators have now barricaded themselves in the student dorm. The rest of the campus can be reached without any problems, there is nothing going on.
Students have been involved in the protests since this week. However, universities have not been the scene of riots so far. This changed after the death of 22-year-old student Alex Chow . In your opinion, what are the reasons for the occupation of the universities?
Protests in Hong Kong (picture-alliance / Zumapress / O. Haynes)
Students gathered food supplies at the Occupied Polytechnic University on Thursday
I think the reason is that the government wanted to go deeper. The police have been attacking faster for quite some time, so the protests often escalate faster. For Monday a general strike was planned. Hong Kong, however, is so poorly unionized that a general strike can not be achieved if it is not enforced. That's why protesters, especially students, set up barriers on main highways and roads early in the morning and tried to stop trains. The police went against it.
According to reports, the universities concerned have become battlefields. Students should hoard weapons and incendiary devices and shoot at the police with arrows. This again used tear gas and rubber bullets. Some students have returned to mainland China. A Danish university has also recommended leaving the country for foreigners. Is the student protest largely forcible? And from which side does the escalation go?
Of course there is a mutual escalation. I would say it's a kind of preparation for a war or something like that - which does not mean that the demonstrators are planning an attack. So far, the government has not addressed the main cause of the entire protest: the feeling of unfair behavior that there is no understanding that people are fighting for their freedom here. I think it's sort of an end game for the demonstrators. Actually, they are pretty hopeless. What they do now is to say: we have to fight to the last thing. That's how they are set up. Therefore, they are gathering an arsenal to carry out the fight led by the radical protesters. But the majority probably does not belong to the violent part. There are many students who support this but do not intend to somehow to fight. There are only a small number of people who practice military training. 
Protests in Hong Kong (picture-alliance / Zumapress / O. Haynes)
Polytechnic University: Demonstrators are waiting with fire bottles for the arrival of the police
How do the universities position themselves in this struggle?
The government has long wanted the universities to take more action against the protesters, while the protesters want them to defend the students. Our president has more or less gone underground. As far as I understand, he is actually in favor of the government, but he does not want to comment in that direction. He is Taiwanese, but with a strong pro-Chinese bias, and that's why he seems to have disappeared somehow. We also did not have permission to organize any political events this semester. The university administration has not tried to influence us in any way, she just kept out of it. In my opinion, that's not what works. You really have to try to create discourses and go both ways.
Except for the withdrawal of the controversial extradition law, the Hong Kong government has not made any concessions to the demonstrators. Among other things, the protest movement demands impunity for the thousands of people arrested so far and the formation of an independent commission to investigate police violence. In your view, is there still a compromise between the two sides possible?
The simple answer is no. The first step in the right direction would be that Carrie Lam is no longer head of government. And then the next head of government has to focus more on the Hong Kong people and not pretend that he does not know why they are violent, why the trouble is there, and in fact open up more publicly for Hong Kong to China. But hardly anyone ever demands that Lam step down because they believe that it does not matter, no matter who comes. In my opinion, the creation of an independent commission has long since taken away the tension. The government hopes that the demonstrators will slowly give up, but there are enough students willing to fight to the end. That's why I think it will be more of a crush,
Watch thevideo42:36

In a nutshell - Worldwide anger: protest or revolution?

How likely are you to consider China's military intervention?
The probability is relatively low, otherwise they would have done it long ago. In addition, the costs associated with it are enormously high. That would lead more or less immediately to the end of the special economic zone, at least on the part of the USA. There is already a threat to do that anyway. 
That means there is a lot of pressure. China needs Hong Kong from an economic point of view, and many mainland investments are actually made through Hong Kong by a trick to declare Hong Kong as foreign. No one knows what impact it will have on the Chinese economy if Hong Kong's economy suddenly goes into crisis. That's why I think they'll be careful. If they intervene, then indirectly, for example, by helping the police.
Stephan Ortmann is a political scientist at the Department of Asian and International Studies, City University Hong Kong, and has participated in demonstrations in the Chinese Special Administrative Region in the past. 
He was a spin doctor for the election campaign of the US president. Now the prominent political strategist has to suffer a bitter defeat. His former boss complains about "double standards".
USA Washington |  Process Roger Stone (picture-alliance / AP Photo / C. Cortez)
Roger Stone leaves the court in Washington
US political adviser Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, has been convicted by a Washington court. The jury saw the 67-year-old, among other things, the false statement and the judicial disability convicted. The punishment is to be announced in February. Stone threatens up to 20 years in prison.
He was accused of obstructing the congressional investigation into the Russian manipulation of the 2016 US election campaign. Among other things, he is said to have tried to manipulate another witness.Trump criticized on Twitter the verdict against his longtime friend and adviser. It is a case of "double standard" as it has never been before in the history of the country.

Arrest in Florida

Stone was arrested at his Florida home in January at the behest of special investigator Robert Mueller He was released on payment of a $ 250,000 bail initially. Mueller has investigated the alleged Russian interventions in the 2016 election campaign and possible illegal contacts of the Trump team with Russia.
Stone is suspected of acting as liaison between the Trump campaign and the Wikileaks revelation platform. Wikileaks had published tens of thousands of hacked e-mails from the camp of Trump's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton during the election campaign. The e-mails had been stolen by US intelligence agencies from Russian hackers.
In mid-February, Stone pleaded not guilty. He described the allegations against him as politically motivated. However, the prosecution revealed that he had lied and harassed another witness to protect the president.
Even before his election as chairman of the Legal Committee, there had been violent protests. Now, for the first time in history, a committee chairman of the Bundestag has lost his post with Stephan Brandner    
AfD politician Brandner loses chairmanship of the Bundestag right wing committee
No longer Chairman of the Legal Committee of the German Bundestag: Stephan Brandner of the AfD
The process is unprecedented in the well 70-year history of the Bundestag, unique. A parliamentary committee, the Legal Affairs Committee, voted out the chairman of the panel by a majority of its members. Stephan Brandner (53), a member of the AFD, is considered "unsustainable", and MEPs accuse him of anti-Semitism.
With the votes of all factions - except for Brandner's own party, the AfD - the Bundestag deputies recalled the parliamentarian. "The dismissal of Brandner is a clear signal against incitement and hatred - we are finally giving the office back its dignity," said deputy spokesman for the policy of the Union faction, Jan-Marco Luczak.
Previously, the Rules of Procedure Committee of the Bundestag has prepared the way for the procedure that Brandner could be voted out this Wednesday. "We have made the interpretative decision that the Rules of Procedure will also allow a committee chairman to be removed from office by a committee," said the chairman of the Rules Committee, Patrick Sensburg, last week. 
Patrick Sensburg (picture-alliance / dpa / M. Kappeler)
Patrick Sensburg advocates that the formulations in the Rules of Procedure of the Bundestag be legally fixed more precisely
Brandner had in late October in a tweet the Federal Cross of Merit for the musician Udo Lindenberg referred to as "Judas pay" and made it beyond the policy for indignation. The accusation: Brandner plays with anti-Semitic clichés and incite resentment. Derailments would occur regularly with him.

Lawyers had called early withdrawal

Thus Brandner had retweeted after Halle's deadly attack, politicians "lounging" in front of synagogues. Already at that time, the German Bar Association and the German Association of Lawyers called on the chairman of the Legal Committee to resign. He was "unable to meet the demands of his office". The office of the committee chairman demanded "always to respect the respect for people". This was later followed by various federal politicians.
Halle Saale Mourning for attack on synagogue (epd / G. Wittmann)
Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer visited the local synagogue in October after the attack in Halle
The lawyer Brandner has been a member of the Bundestag since 2017 and was elected Chairman of the Legal Committee at the beginning of 2018. The grown up in West Germany politician had gone in 1997 as a lawyer from Munich in Thuringia Gera. After leaving the CDU in 2013, he joined the alternative for Germany and moved to the state election in Thuringia in 2014 in the state parliament. 

Brandner was not appointed to the committee chairman, but elected

Brandner is one of three committee chairmen, who represents the "alternative for Germany" in the Bundestag. Peter Boehringer is in charge of the Budget Committee, Sebastian Münzenmaier is Chairman of the Tourism Committee. Boehringer is well respected in his committee, it is said.
He does not have the "rascal" of Brandner, as a member of another parliamentary group says this Wednesday. And for the other AFD members in the committees, there are also more positive assessments from representatives of the coalition than for Brandner.
Germany Berlin Bundestag Peter Böhringer (picture-alliance / dpa / K. Kappeler)
Peter Boehringer had warned during the refugee crisis of a "change of the German population"
The three AFD politicians had been elected by the members at the beginning of the legislature. Normally Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble determines the chairmen of the committees, as the corresponding paragraph 58 of the Rules of Procedure of the Bundestag envisages.
However, if a committee member objects, an election will be required. The chairman then has to receive more yes-no votes. Brandner had received 19 in favor and 30 against and 12 abstentions on 30 January 2018
Two Native Brazilians went into the woods to fetch water. One did not come back. The men campaigned for the protection of the Amazon forest. They were allegedly attacked by lumberjacks.
Activist Paulo Paulino fought for the protection of the Amazon forest

Indigenous activist Paulo Paulino was shot dead in the northeastern state of Maranhao by illegal loggers, local authorities and the human rights organization Survival International said. Another activist was injured but was able to escape. The two men belonged to the so-called "guardians of the forest" - a group that tries to protect areas of indigenous peoples from illegal logging.

"Bring those responsible to justice"

According to the Maranhao Human Rights Secretariat, the Guajajara tribe left their village to fetch water from the forest when they were surrounded by "at least five armed men." According to authorities, a lumberjack was missing after the incident. Information that he was also killed in the attack has not yet been confirmed. Brazilian Justice Minister Sergio Moro said on Twitter that the police had investigated murder. It was "important to bring those responsible to justice".
Brazil deforestation of the jungle (picture-alliance / Mary Evans Picture Library / N. Gordon)
The rainforest must give way to animal husbandry
Greenpeace condemned the attack on the two activists. 26-year-old Paulino and his injured companion Laércio are "the latest victims of a state that refuses to comply with the provisions of the constitution," the organization said. Greenpeace denounced "the inability of the state" to comply with its duty to protect indigenous activists and their territories.

Protecting Amazon from illegal clearance

Sarah Shenker, who visited the area for the Survival International organization a few months ago, told AFP that Paulino had fought with determination to protect the forests despite the death threats. The lack of commitment by the Brazilian government is driving the indigenous people to take on the "hard and dangerous job".
The "Guards of the Forest" were founded by the Guajajara, a tribe of about 14,000 people in the state of Maranhao. The activists have set themselves the goal of defending areas of indigenous peoples threatened by illegal logging and agricultural expansion. Among other things, they pass on GPS data from areas where they find deforested tree trunks, and they also support the fire brigade in the fight against forest fires.

More violence in indigenous protected areas

The Catholic Indian Missionary Council blamed President Jair Bolsonaro's policies for increasing violence in the indigenous protected areas. The indigenous people could no longer move freely on their own land today, the council said. Due to budget cuts at the Indian agency, there are almost no more patrols. Illegal intrusion into the protected areas is hardly punished. According to the Mission Council, 160 cases of illegal entry into protected areas were counted from January to September.
Brazil |  Fires in the Amazon (Reuters / B. Kelly)
Illegal slash-and-burn? A few months ago, a huge area of ​​the Amazon forest burned down
President Bolsonaro has been criticized internationally for months for his controversial environmental policy . He is accused of advocating the commercial exploitation of protected Amazonian areas. Bolsonaro is closely associated with the Brazilian agrarian lobby and doubts human responsibility for climate change.
Iran's supreme leader has again spoken out against negotiations with the United States. Conversations would not bring any improvement, the Ayatollah said. The message was also addressed to French President Macron.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has to agree to all political decisions

"If the Iranian officials were so naive and engaged in negotiations with the US, they would definitely have achieved nothing," said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Negotiations would neither lead to a revision of the policy of maximum pressure , nor to a repeal of the US sanctions, said the Ayatollah. Just as the negotiations of North Korea and Cuba with the US would have led to no result. Ajatollah, according to the constitution, has the last word in all political matters.

"Naive or accomplice"

Although Iranian President Hassan Rohani and his government are not completely barring negotiations with the US, they are setting conditions. They demand that Washington lift all sanctions against Iran and return to the Vienna nuclear agreement. The US government, however, rejects these preconditions.
USA Hassan Rohani speaks before the UN General Assembly (Reuters / C. Allegri)
Iran's President Hassan Rohani in September at the UN General Assembly
Iran's 2015 international nuclear deal is designed to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons. In return, among other things, the West wanted to lift sanctions and restrictions on trade. US President Donald Trump stepped out of the agreement unilaterally in early May 2018 . The US government now wants to force the leadership in Tehran with the hitherto toughest sanctions against the country to renegotiate the agreement and to agree to tougher conditions.
Most recently, French President Emmanuel Macron tried to establish talks between Iran and the United States. Ajatollah Ali Khamenei sharply criticized Macron for saying, "The French president says a meeting would solve all the problems between Tehran and the US He is either naive or an accomplice to the US."
G7 summit in France |  Symbolic picture dispute among partners (picture-alliance / dpa / A. Harnik)
US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron
Macron had tried in September to organize a meeting between Trump and Rohani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The conversation between the two heads of state did not come about.

Difficult relationship for four decades

The relationship between the US and Iran is not only strained since the dispute over the nuclear deal. The US cut diplomatic relations 40 years ago. The trigger was the occupation of the US Embassy in Tehran, which marks its 40th anniversary this Monday.
US Hostages Embassy Tehran 1979 (Fars)
Occupation of the US Embassy in Tehran: On November 4, 1979 Islamist students stormed the site

Iranian students occupied the embassy in November 1979 in protest at the shooting of the ousted Shah Reza Pahlavi in ​​the United States. The US embassy members taken hostage were released only after 444 days. Iran intends to commemorate the occupation of the US Embassy in Tehran on Monday with a state-organized rally. 
A new memorial site for the murder victims of the National Socialist underground has been inaugurated in Zwickau. In the Saxon city, where the neo-Nazis had their last shelter, trees were planted.
At each of the ten trees a plaque with the name of one of the victims is embedded in the ground

Ten trees are reminiscent of the murder victims of the right-wing terrorist cell National Socialist Underground (NSU). On commemorative plaques, embedded in the ground, the name, age and occupation of those killed are recorded.
"We show that the NSU is a part of Zwickau history," said Mayor Pia Findeiß at the inauguration ceremony, attended by about 450 people. The trees and the commemorative plaques are at the same time a reminder to stand up for democracy and tolerance.
Germany New memorial site for victims of the NSU in Zwickau (picture-alliance / dpa / P. Endig)
A first memorial tree was sawed off by unknown persons at the beginning of October - mourners laid down candles and flowers there
The NSU had lived undetected for years in Zwickau underground. The terror cell, to which Uwe Mundlos, Uwe Böhnhardt and Beate Zschäpe belonged, is held responsible for nine murders of foreigners, the killing of a German policewoman as well as two explosive attacks and various robberies.
A first memorial tree for the murdered florist Enver Simsek, the first victim of right-wing terrorists, had been sawed off in early October. The act had caused nationwide indignation, but also triggered a wave of solidarity. Around 14,000 euros were donated to the city.
Zwickau |  New memorial place for victims of the NSU (picture-alliance / dpa / P. Endig)

On the sidelines of the inauguration, some of the participants and the police got into an argument after a young woman had damaged a wreath of the Zwickau AFD faction. Some observers defended the woman and argued that flowers from a party that was spreading its own ideas were another mockery of the victims. The police, however, evaluated the events as property damage. On Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to lay flowers at the memorial.
One third of the global economy and almost half of the world's population are involved: In Bangkok, 16 Asian countries are negotiating the world's largest free trade agreement. The initiative came from China.
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (2nd from left) receives trading partner in Bangkok

The negotiations should be concluded "later this year" to boost economic growth, trade and investment, "said Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the inauguration of the annual Southeast Asian Nations Association (ASEAN) Summit in Bangkok. The free trade agreement involves the ten member states of ASEAN and six other countries - China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Their heads of state and government will not attend a meeting on Monday until Monday.

Idea from Beijing

The agreement would include a space of more than three billion people and a $ 17 trillion economic power. This corresponds to around 40 percent of world trade. China had proposed the trade partnership and wanted to build a counterbalance to the trade agreement TPP. The "Transpacific Partnership" (TPP) is owned by eleven states on various continents, including Australia, Chile and Canada. The US also originally wanted to participate. A few days after taking office, US President Donald Trump announced the agreement in 2017 but on.
As a result, the Southeast Asian states of ASEAN intensified their work on a separate agreement and are now in the final stages of the negotiations. The agreement could be signed in February 2020, a spokeswoman for the Thai government said.
Thailand ASEAN Summit (picture-alliance / AP / S.Lalit)
The ASEAN group comprises ten states in Southeast Asia
Another topic on the agenda in Bangkok is the territorial dispute in the South China Sea . The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan claim parts of the South China Sea, while Beijing occupies almost the entire maritime region. The regional bloc has worked with China to develop a non-aggression agreement or code of conduct. "We are ready to work with ASEAN countries and build on the existing foundations and foundations to maintain long-term peace and stability in the South China Sea," said Chinese PM Li Keqiang to ASEAN leaders in Bangkok.

Climate change affects Southeast Asia particularly strongly

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres traveled as a guest to the summit in Bangkok and appealed to the world to get out of coal because of the climate crisis of energy. "I have been working hard to make more progress on carbon pricing and to make sure that there are no new coal-fired power plants by 2020," Guterres said. It should not continue to use trillions of taxpayer money as subsidies for fossil fuels, he said with a view to climate change. This only leads to more cyclones, tropical diseases and conflicts.
Thailand Asean Summit l UN General Secretary Guterres (picture alliance / dpa / AP / A. Rahi)
UN Secretary-General António Guterres: "It takes concrete measures"
He was particularly worried about the effects of the many coal-fired power plants that would be rebuilt in some parts of the world, such as in East, South and Southeast Asia, Guterres said. At the same time, developed countries would also have to help developing countries to emit less harmful gases. It needs concrete measures.

Already the day before, Guterres had said that the world's dependence on coal remains a major threat to climate change and that countries in the ASEAN region are particularly vulnerable. In the region a lot of energy is gained from coal. A recent report released by the UN states that sea levels are likely to rise faster than expected because of climate change. Therefore, several Asian cities are threatened by flooding in the future.
German society allows less and less opinion and submits to a dangerous unity thinking. Democracy thus undermines itself permanently, says Christoph Hasselbach.
Comment: Adjust or be silent

"I disagree with what you say, but I would fight to the utmost for you to say it." The disturbers of the lecture of the founder of the right-wing populist party AfD, Bernd Lucke, at the University of Hamburg should take this quotation of the French enlightener Voltaire once to heart. The sentence describes one of the foundations of democracy: freedom of expression. Today, this is more endangered in Germany than many think. 
True, who represents certain, deviating from the mainstream positions, lands in this country certainly not in prison. Formally, freedom of expression is guaranteed. But he is soon threatened by the ostracism of society, at least the dominant part of society.

Ironically, the universities!

The case of Bernd Lucke is particularly extreme. He is not even concerned with the topic of his economics lecture, which had to be stopped twice already and can only take place under police protection. No, the activists are satisfied with the fact that Lucke was one of the fathers of the AfD. Lucke has left the party long ago, just because it was right for him! If it were up to the demonstrators, the man in public should not speak - no matter to which topic.
Hasselbach Christoph Comment Image App
DW editor Christoph Hasselbach
Similar to Lucke, the former Christian Democrat Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière recently met. His planned reading at Göttingen University had to be canceled after a blockade by leftist groups. If universities are not even a place of open debate, where have we come then?  
The generally accepted range of opinions is getting narrower. The majority of the population feels the same way: In several surveys, a clear majority of respondents say that one has to be very careful about what one says on certain topics. Otherwise there would be exclusion and isolation in the circle of colleagues and friends, the neighborhood. And any career advancement will be impossible.
In the first place, most people mention everything that has to do with migration. The so-called rescue of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea is a prime example that everyone is declared a radical inhuman who expresses even the slightest doubt. Everyone knows that the distress is deliberately brought about and forms part of a well-organized smuggling of people from Africa to Europe. Even Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is here swung into the narrow opinion corridor. In his history as a right-wing rebel within the Union parties that means something! 

We put shackles on our thinking

Similarly strict, unwritten requirements apply to climate mathematics. Those who cautiously note that the social aspects of a radical departure from our lifestyle should also be taken into account, are already very suspicious, because he negates the drama of the situation. And those who even professed to be unrepentant meat eaters, long-distance flyers or SUV drivers lose all acceptance as a public figure. Radical climate protectors such as Roger Hallam of "Extinction Rebellion" or SeaWatch 3 captain Carola Rackete , on the other hand, can fundamentally question democracy as a form of government without being sidelined.

The taboo opinions are not on any prohibition list. But everyone knows them. And most people, in their public utterances, hold the boundaries of the zeitgeist for good reason. That's the fatal thing: we put ourselves on shackles. But democracy lives from strife, from diversity of opinion. If the bandwidth is too narrow, because deviants are afraid to speak out, society becomes sluggish. And in the end, it takes on one of its most important fundamental democratic rights: the freedom to express even uncomfortable views.